With Al Franken This Thanksgiving
R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.
by

Washington

As Americans prepare for their Thanksgiving Day turkey or perhaps protein bars, or possibly artichoke hearts, or whatever the au courant are dining upon this year, I would like to propose a thought. You all have much to be grateful for. Our friends on the left may doubt it, but even they have much to be grateful for. For my part, I am grateful not to have Al Franken for a neighbor. You saw what one of the zealots did to his neighbor Senator Rand Paul. Moreover, I have two very pretty daughters, who will be visiting me. With Franken in the neighborhood we would have to maintain a high security watch, possibly even an electrified fence with barbed wire.

Seriously, Al is a very peculiar guy. First of all, he is very unpleasant. He yells at his staff and has a very high turnover among staffers. He even yells at people who aren’t on his staff. Then, too, he is an obsessive. Here in Washington he has been rumored to be certain to knock off Donald Trump in 2020, so we have not heard about his temper and his monomanias, but doubtless now that his overactive libido has been revealed we shall be hearing about other unpleasant aspects of his persona too.

Of course, last week there were stories in the news that hinted at exactly how unpleasant he is. To begin with, there was the report by an attractive California television personality, Ms. Leeann Tweeden, that the oaf tried to have his way with her while both were traveling abroad, she to charm our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, he to hit upon any unsuspecting woman, one being her. She reported in vivid detail his “sloppy” attempts to kiss her on the mouth, how physically repulsive he is, and she even supplied a photograph of the unfunny man grabbing at her breasts as she slept aboard a C-17 military transport plane.

I have never seen this amorous side of the latest Progressive Casanova, but I did observe his obsessiveness, and I observed it up close and personal. He displayed it to me during a radio interview with him some years ago at a CPAC convention. What reminded me of it was the testimony last week of another California radio personality, Ms. Melanie Morgan. She came forth last week with an account of Franken’s obsessiveness that could have landed him in the clink if Ms. Morgan were not so charitable.

According to her, she was appearing on Bill Maher’s Politically Incorrect show and as ill-luck would have it another of Maher’s guests was Franken. Ms. Morgan became mired in a disagreement with him about of all things the federal budget. He would not relent. After the show he followed her off stage spewing statistics, economic theories, and threats. He carried his ongoing rant into the green room. His ravings continued even beyond that. For three days he called her at her home and scared her to the point that she informed him she was going to call the police if he did not subside and leave her alone.

I heard about Ms. Morgan’s travail during her appearance on the Sean Hannity radio show while Sean was interviewing her. Sean followed up with a story about his own experience with Franken’s obsessiveness. It again reminded me of my own experience with Franken.

According to Sean, he was at Fox’s studio in New York when he encountered Franken. The enflamed senator engaged him in an impromptu debate. It became heated with all the heat being emitted by Franken. Sean begged off, but Franken would not relent. Then Sean, as had Ms. Morgan, had endured enough. He threatened to summon the authorities, in this case Fox’s security people just down the hall. Finally, Franken relented and withdrew.

Sean’s story brought to mind my experience with Franken’s obsessiveness. I was appearing with him at the Conservative Political Action Conference some years ago. We were seated on what was called Radio Row, and appearing on, I believe, a show he hosted. The show did not go well for him. His wit is leaden. At one point he asked me what “do you do?” Apparently he had never heard of The American Spectator or simply did not know what an editor-in-chief does. Quite by chance I had a handball in my pocket. I pulled it out of my pocket and said “This is what I do,” as I rolled the ball across the desk that separated us. He was unaccountably startled as though it were a grenade. He became abusive. He would not quiet down. At break time I left him to harangue without me.

What was odd was that a friend reported back to me that she saw him two hours later still haranguing the ball. He had it in his hand. I should have called an ambulance for him. God knows how he got home.

Where this very unpleasant man plans to go from here is now unknown. It appears that having one’s way with unwilling women is now no longer tolerated as it was in Bill and Hillary Clinton’s day. One thing is certain. Al will never be president of the United States. That is something to be grateful for this Thanksgiving Day — Happy Thanksgiving to you.

R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.
R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.
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R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. is the founder and editor in chief ofThe American Spectator. He is the author of The Death of Liberalism, published by Thomas Nelson Inc. His previous books include the New York Times bestseller Boy Clinton: The Political Biography; The Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton; The Liberal Crack-Up; The Conservative Crack-Up; Public Nuisances; The Future that Doesn’t Work: Social Democracy’s Failure in Britain; Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House; The Clinton Crack-Up; and After the Hangover: The Conservatives’ Road to Recovery. He makes frequent appearances on national television and is a nationally syndicated columnist, whose articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Washington Times, National Review, Harper’s, Commentary, The (London) Spectator, Le Figaro (Paris), and elsewhere. He is also a contributing editor to the New York Sun.
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